Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(SPOILERS) Buffy Season 9 #2 - Reviewed!

What it is: Buffy Season 9 #2
Who done it:Andrew Chambliss (w), Georges Jeanty (a)
When it comes out: October 12, 2011

The review:

When last we left Buffy, she had come face to face with her newest and most mortal enemy – student loans. The juxtaposition of the usual demon peril with the seemingly mundane looks to be the main thrust of the first arc of Buffy’s season 9 and issue #2 delves further into that while adding a new mystery or two along the way.

You remember how vampires came out last season a la True Blood? Do you also remember how that seemingly huge plot point took a backseat in favor of space sex? The good news is, if you liked the former idea, it’s making a comeback. While Faith is in her own book still mourning the deaths of the humans she killed back in Season 3, Buffy is dealing with the new consequences of murdering (not slaying) vampires.

During the course of the show, killing vampires was a thing Buffy was never really questioned for. Vampires bad, Buffy slay vampires, Buffy good. Since monsters on the show were usually metaphor that made sense. Things are different now, though. In a world where a demon needs a day job, even your random baddie in a darkened alley is no longer easily expendable. They’re people, too.

One thing that Buffy (and the audience) hasn’t quite earned yet, is a return to the idea of a team of Scoobies. If issue #1 showed us that Buffy and co. could still throw a party, issue #2 reminds us that their party is still very over. Willow, Xander, and Dawn all have lives of their own and, when Buffy hits the skids, they don’t really have the desire or the energy to help. It’s hard to gauge how to feel about this element of Season 9. I’ve personally been craving that feeling that Buffy et. al. really belong to each other, that they’ll work together until the end. At the same time, though, that feels like an unrealistic request after last season. What I’m saying is, I hope we start moving beyond the whole ‘family torn asunder’ thing by the end of the second arc at the latest.

The Spike/Buffy thing is still happening, albeit in drips and drabs. Some of this issue harkens back to Season 6 when Buffy felt that Spike was the only person she could really talk to and rely on. Granted, here that relationship is a far healthier affair. Still, there’s this gnawing feeling at the back of my mind that, before Buffy and Spike can really try again, they kind of both need lives of their own. Buffy should be hanging out with those new roommates of hers (before they get the chop, at least) and Spike should really look into companionship that isn’t giant, alien bugs just for a change of pace. Buffy (as both a show and a character) has kind of done the whole “only we understand each other’s pain” romance story to death, so something a little more adult would be preferable. All that being said, the dialogue between Buffy and Spike is sweet and in keeping with a season more defined by the interpersonal than the intergalactic.

Yes, there is a new character you may have heard something about. Yes, that character will relate to Buffy in a “professional” way, let’s call it. That, coupled with a mysterious intruder in Buffy’s apartment are the mysteries at play in this issue. Also worth noting, is the focus on police investigation, an element that adds something more adult and real to the story. Again, we can see that difference between the two comic seasons. Season 8? The army. Season 9. The fuzz. Macrocosm vs. microcosm.

I wonder what the microcosm answer to Twilight is?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great Review - Look forward to reading all the BS9 & Angel&Faith reviews - thanks for all your efforts.

I agree with you also on the idea of time needed for Buffy to learn how to live alone for a bit. Also, realistically; friends in this period of their lives are starting to establish their own needs and paths they want to take and that often means that long established friendships become, not less important, but less dependence on each other.

I personally like the idea of the Scoobs living away from their super strong ties from the earlier series. I want to see how they learn to live apart for a while.

And I would love to see the relationship between Buffy & Spike also develop along the lines of a mature and mutual respect for each other -